By Maria Tedesco - Clinical Psychologist
According to the (2007) National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing 14.4 percent of Australians have experienced an anxiety disorder within the past 12 months, with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Social Phobia being the most prevalent.
All of us experience anxiety at some point. It is a normal but, uncomfortable response to fear. During periods of anxiety we experience hypervigilance and physical arousal/agitation as our bodies assess the situation and prepare for a response based on previously learnt experiences.
Some people feel they will not cope with these symptoms, this perception is often developed from experiences or events which have been very dangerous, threatening and out of a person’s control. They can include physical assaults, emotional abuse, parental abandonment and childhood trauma.
Other factors also render people vulnerable to anxiety disorders like: